Granarolo, the Italian dairy business, has continued its diversification with a move into the bakery sector through the acquisition of local business Pandea Dietetica.

Pandea specialises in the production of baked goods with and without gluten. 

Granarolo chairman Gianpiero Calzolari said the acquisition was part of the group’s plans to “further diversify the portfolio of products aimed at domestic and foreign consumers [who are] more and more inclined to use functional foods for their welfare”.

Calzolari said the free-from sector “will grow significantly in the coming years”. He added: “All the research confirms this and we are working to respond to a rapidly-changing market with quality Italian products, while seeking to operate in respect of existing realities and reference territories.”

Parma-based Pandea had a turnover in 2015 of EUR12.9m (US$13.6m), of which 66% came from sales of “conventional” products such as crackers and bread sticks, Granarolo said.

Earlier this year, Granarolo acquired 60% of local vegetarian and organic food maker Conbio. The deal, struck for an undisclosed sum, saw Granarolo invest in a business manufacturing products including burgers, soups and ready-made dishes.

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